Latest Scam Has New Twist; Fraud Group Offers Precautionary Tips
September 8, 2009

There is a new scam targeting auto glass shops in which the alleged potential customer contacts an auto glass business by e-mail advising that he/she has purchased several cars that will be moved across state lines and will all need their glass replaced.

"Due to our conversation on the phone about the three used cars brought from a car dealer in New York at my old car's rental location … I want to get them to my new location here in the state and I would like do the replacement of glasses on them," reads one such e-mail received by a™/AGRR magazine reader, who wished to remain anonymous. "Can you handle that for me?"

The alleged customer then lists the vehicles and says he will ship the vehicles to the shop's location. But, of course, there's a catch.

"I will also need a favor from you because I haven't pa[id] the shipping company who will bring down the cars to your shop for replacement and he doesn't accept credit cards. Do you accept credit cards?" reads the e-mail. "If you do, I will give you my credit card to charge for the sum of $4,000 and deduct the sum of $1,000 as deposit for the three cars' glass replacement and send the remaining $3,000 to the shipping company so he can deliver the cars and once they deliver the cars, you can write an estimate for me for the remaining balance of the replacement."

This possible scam is a bit different than many the glass industry has seen, in which the writer often asks that the glass be shipped out of the country; however, the method of paying for shipping via credit card so that the business then must pay a shipping company out of pocket, is consistent with other scams™/AGRR magazine readers have reported in the past. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

According to, the National Consumers' League (NCL) fraud center, which gathers information on possible scams, there are several steps businesses can take to lessen their chances of becoming the victims of fraudulent orders:

  • Do businesses with companies you know and trust. If a company you haven't dealt with before contacts you with an order that seems fraudulent, research the company to see if it is legitimate;
  • Understand what is being offered. "Get all details and promises in writing," writes the NCL;
  • Check the bills and invoices carefully. "It's hard to get your money back once you've paid it to a con artist," warns the group;
  • Keep your company's financial information confidential-and don't provide it to anyone unless you're certain it's a legitimate and necessary transaction; and
  • Educate your employees and make sure they are weary of such tactics.

CLICK HERE for more information about scams against businesses from the NCL.

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